Recently, the fiscal situation in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) has posed a challenge to achieving excellence for our student athletes and for our athletic program.
The economic downturn of recent years and declining revenues has resulted in budget shortfalls. As a result, ICA's expenditures have exceeded its revenues. For several years, the annual operating budget (including facility debt obligations) has been balanced with transfers from ICA's accumulated fund balance (or "reserves"). Reserves are normally used for purposes such as these transfers. The ICA reserves are now depleted and transfers are no longer available to support the deficit. The budget shortfalls will grow in the coming years if the finances and operations of ICA are not changed. As an auxiliary enterprise, ICA must return to being a self-supporting operation.
Determined to address this situation, in July 2011, University President Wallace Loh appointed the President's Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. The Commission was composed of members of several of the University's key constituencies: University System of Maryland Regents, University of Maryland College Park Foundation Trustees, University Senate, Athletic Council, Student Government Association, Student Athlete Advisory Council, faculty, staff, alumni, and Terrapin Club.
On November 21, 2011, President Loh accepted the President's Commission's recommendation to discontinue six athletic programs (eight teams) effective July 1, 2012: Men's Swimming & Diving, Men's Tennis, Men's Track & Field (Cross Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track), Women's Acrobatics & Tumbling (formerly known as Competitive Cheer), Women's Swimming & Diving, and Water Polo.
In Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson's response to the recommendation, he requested that the affected programs and their constituencies be given the opportunity to fundraise to avoid reduction.Although the fundraising goals are lofty for the six programs, he feels strongly that the supporters must be given an opportunity to step up and deliver on behalf of the student athletes and teams.
In December 2011, the Save Our Sports campaign was launched with the goal of raising eight years' worth of the total programs costs by June 30, 2012, in order to keep the program in existence. After June 30, 2012, a full program endowment will need to be completed by the end of that eight-year period (June 30, 2020) to endow the programs in perpetuity. Teams will work to raise funds independently, but in order for the University of Maryland to continue to comply with the non-negotiable requirements of the federal Title IX law, to save a men's program, we must also reach the fund raising goal for a women's program with similar squad size and scholarship commitments.
GENERAL FUNDS RAISED TO DATE: $9,826.
Please make a tax-deductible donation to Save Our Sports! Donations can be designated to a specific team, or to the general campaign. DONATE TODAY TO HELP SAVE OUR SPORTS!